Best TextMate “Meta” Bundle: GetBundles

 

TextMate has quickly become my absolute favorite editor. It loads quickly, is endlessly extensible, and in general, stays out of your way unless you need some help.

Here then, is my favorite TextMate bundle:

 

GetBundles

This is basically a “meta-bundle” that searches through different repositories for available bundles and installs them for you. Is it difficult to install a bundle manually? Not at all, but this makes it obscenely simple.

To install it, open a Terminal window and type the following (this is taken from GitHub user Trey, who has some great hints on his own site). I’ve modified it slightly to install it into the “Pristine Copy” folder and not into the local modifications bundle folder:


$ mkdir -p ~/Library/Application Support/TextMate/Pristine Copy/Bundles
$ cd !$
$ svn co http://svn.textmate.org/trunk/Review/Bundles/GetBundles.tmbundle/
$ osascript -e 'tell app "TextMate" to reload bundles'
$ cd -

If you’re unfamiliar with some of these commands, let me step through them for you. First, with “mkdir” it creates the folder where bundles should be installed (if it doesn’t already exist). Next, “cd !$” is a shortcut for “change directories to the last one I mentioned” (e.g., the Bundles folder). Then we do a simple subversion checkout command to grab the bundle. The osascript command simply sends a message to TextMate, asking it to reload its bundles (now that the new bundle has been put in place), and then “cd -” means, “return me to the directory I was in previously.”

Easy. Now, jump into TextMate, and navigate to Bundles > GetBundles > Get Bundles. From here, you can browse by bundle name or search for a specific keyword. For instance, if you’re looking for support for the LESS, the dynamic stylesheet language, you will find three different ones (as of this writing).

The toolbar gives you access to a lot of information. Clicking on the “i” button gives you more information about the Bundle, clicking on the bundle icon opens a Finder window to the directory the bundle has been installed to, and clicking the TextMate button opens the bundle in TextMate for editing.

As you start to use different Bundles, you’ll find that you’d like to tweak their behavior. Again, GetBundles simplifies this for you. Could you manually navigate to the ~/Library/Application Support/TextMate/Pristine Copy/Bundles directory in terminal, and then launch mate from there? Of course. But, why type all that?

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